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Title: Microcalcifications segmentation from mammograms for breast cancer detection

Authors: Ismahan Hadjidj; Amel Feroui; Aicha Belgherbi; Abdelhafid Bessaid

Addresses: Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technology Faculty, University of Tlemcen, Tlemcen 13000, Algeria ' Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technology Faculty, University of Tlemcen, Tlemcen 13000, Algeria ' Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technology Faculty, University of Tlemcen, Tlemcen 13000, Algeria ' Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technology Faculty, University of Tlemcen, Tlemcen 13000, Algeria

Abstract: The presence of microcalcifications (MCs) in X-ray mammograms provides an important early sign of women breast cancer. However, their detection still remains very complex due to the diversity in shape, size, their distributions and to the low contrast between the cancerous areas and surrounding bright structures in mammograms. This paper presents an effective approach based on mathematical morphology for detection of MCs in digitised mammograms. The developed approach performs an initial step in order to extract the breast area and removing unwanted artefacts out of the mammogram. Subsequently, an enhancement process is applied to improve appearance and increase the contrast of images and to eliminate noise. Once the breast region has been found, a segmentation phase through morphological watershed is performed in order to detect MCs. The performance of our approach is evaluated using a total of 22 mammograms extracted from the MIAS mammographic database, showing the presence of MCs. The obtained results were compared with manual detection, marked by an expert mammographic radiologist. These results show that the system is very effective, especially in terms of sensitivity.

Keywords: breast cancer; microcalcifications; mammograms; breast region; mathematical morphology; watershed transform.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBET.2019.096877

International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 2019 Vol.29 No.1, pp.1 - 16

Received: 09 Jun 2016
Accepted: 27 Sep 2016

Published online: 03 Dec 2018 *

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